7.1/10
43,149
158 user 58 critic

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Trailer
2:36 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writer:

Gus Van Sant (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,737 ( 888)
9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros
Elephant (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Elias McConnell, Alex Frost, Eric Deulen
Paranoid Park (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch
Dogfight (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Before leaving to fight in Vietnam, a group of teenagers play a game where they try to seduce the ugliest girl they can find.

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Footage from My Own Private Idaho (1991) is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.

Directors: James Franco, Gus Van Sant
Stars: Wilmer Calderon, Jim Freivogel, Brian Lally
Mala Noche (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Tim Streeter, Doug Cooeyate, Ray Monge
Last Days (2005)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Seattle musician's life and career are reminiscent to those of Kurt Cobain.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento
Gerry (2002)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A friendship between two young men is tested when they go for a hike in a desert and forget to bring any water or food with them.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Joey owns a pizza parlor, and is married to Rosalie. He's also a serial womanizer. Rosalie goes to extremes when she finds he has been cheating.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt
To Die For (1995)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A beautiful but naïve aspiring television personality films a documentary on teenagers with a darker ulterior motive.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... Mike Waters
Keanu Reeves ... Scott Favor
James Russo ... Richard Waters
William Richert ... Bob Pigeon
Rodney Harvey ... Gary
Chiara Caselli ... Carmella
Michael Parker Michael Parker ... Digger
Jessie Thomas Jessie Thomas ... Denise
Flea ... Budd
Grace Zabriskie ... Alena
Tom Troupe Tom Troupe ... Jack Favor
Udo Kier ... Hans
Sally Curtice Sally Curtice ... Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn Robert Lee Pitchlynn ... Walt
Mickey Cottrell ... Daddy Carroll
Edit

Storyline

Mike Waters lives on the street and befriends the somewhat older and streetwise Scott Favor who shows him what is necessary to survive. Waters suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at any moment and in almost any circumstance. Favor comes from a rich family and is rebelling against his own background. They travel together extensively - Waters is driven by the need to find his biological mother - and spend time in Italy. Later in life however, Favor has joined mainstream society and has little time for his old friend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people take your heart, others take your shoes, and still others take you home. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,542, 6 October 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,401,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Mike is in Idaho he has a clear view of Mt. Hood. Not only is the mountain too far away to see (over 200 miles), there is another mountain range lying between Idaho and Mt. Hood, blocking the view. See more »

Quotes

Mike Waters: This chick's living in a new car ad.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemadonna: Filth and Wisdom (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Main Drag
Words and Music by Shane MacGowan
Performed by The Pogues
Courtesy of Stiff Music Ltd. and Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
You're getting sleepy...
15 October 2005 | by Oliver-50See all my reviews

I'm not quite sure what to make of 'My Own Private Idaho.' I am aware of it's huge cult following and that makes me want to like it more than I did, or at least give some thought as to why I didn't think as highly of it as many others did.

Gus Van Sant is a hit or miss director - Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For, and Good Will Hunting were all excellent, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and his Psycho remake were horrendous - and I hate to say that I'm leaning more towards the miss column with 'My Own Private Idaho.' The best way I can put this film is that it seems like there are too many cooks making the soup and all the ingredients have been served better. Van Sant wants to make this a road movie, a comedy, a coming-of-age movie, a Shakespeare play, a surreal picture... I feel like he's taken the best elements of 'Easy Rider', 'Pixote', and 'Henry V' and mangled them.

River Phoenix is excellent though, he's the best part of the film and I give the credit solely to him. Why? Because ever other performance just isn't very good. Reeves seems uncomfortable in almost every scene whether it's quoting Shakespeare or lying shirtless in bed with Phoenix, he can't pull off what this movie wants. Neither can Richert as the leader of the band of hustlers - who comes across so over the top and theatrical that as a contrast to Phoenix's mellow/realistic hustler it just doesn't work. The problem with taking dialogue straight from Henry IV is for one it's awfully hard to top the Bard for writing. Two; you need actors who can deliver it well.

Van Sant has imagination and the visuals in the film are breathtaking. The movie starts off extremely well, but it's obvious that he had little control of the script or the actors and in the end that kills the movie.

Very surprising that Phoenix didn't pick up an Oscar nomination.


30 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 158 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed